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HIV Testing

Education Packet

HIV Testing – This packet is a compilation of recent fact sheets and other resources. You may wish to customize it to meet the needs or interests of particular groups, such as event participants, providers, patients, clients, or the general public. So please feel free to distribute all or part of this packet as either a printout or PDF.  


Fact Sheets, Web Pages, and Resources

HIV Testing 101 - This is an easy-to-read fact sheet in question-and-answer format. The first page is in English, and the second page is in Spanish.

HIV Testing (CDC) – The English-language version of this web page divides HIV testing information into several topics and answers common questions about HIV testing in plain language.  The topics covered are: getting tested, types of HIV tests, find an HIV test, HIV self-testing (home testing), understanding a negative result, understanding a positive result, sharing your test result, and download HIV testing materials. Also available in Spanish.

HIV Testing (HIVinfo) – This fact sheet covers what HIV testing is, why it is important, who should be tested, where to get testing, the types of HIV tests, and confidentiality in HIV testing. Also available in Spanish.

HIV Testing (The Well Project) – This fact sheet provides basic information about HIV testing, including what tests are, why and whom to test for HIV, testing options and when to be tested, getting test results, confidentiality, and self-care.

HIV Testing (Be in the Know) – This web page links to information about why, when, and how to get tested for HIV, what happens after people receive HIV test results, testing for children and pregnant women, and personal stories about HIV testing.

False Positive HIV Test Results (CDC) This fact sheet describes what false-positive test results are, the causes of false-positive results, the use of additional testing to distinguish true-positive results from false-positive ones, and the impact of HIV prevalence on the proportion of false-positive results.

HIV Testing in the United States (Kaiser Family Foundation) – This issue brief includes sections with important dates in HIV testing history, testing statistics broken down by race/ethnicity, U.S. testing recommendations and requirements, insurance coverage of HIV testing, testing sites and policies, testing techniques, and what happens after someone receives a positive HIV test result.

How Schools Can Support HIV Testing Among Adolescents (CDC) – This fact sheet examines reasons why adolescents should get tested for HIV, as well as ways schools can encourage their students to get tested.

GetTested: National HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Testing (CDC) – This web page includes answers to frequently-asked questions about HIV, STD, and hepatitis testing, as well as a search feature to help people find nearby testing sites, providers of pre-exposure prophylaxis, and organizations that provide condoms for free or low cost.

Let’s Stop HIV Together (CDC) – This is the web page for CDC’s “Let’s Stop HIV Together” campaign, which includes a section on HIV testing. A searchable resources page allows users to find and download extensive materials supporting HIV testing, including banners, brochures, flyers, palm cards, posters, and videos.

National HIV Testing Day (HIVinfo) – This resource page for National HIV Testing Day includes a variety of materials to help organizations raise awareness about HIV testing, and to encourage HIV testing of everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 at least once as part of routine health care.

Infographics from AIDSVu on HIV Testing and Diagnosis

Additional Resources from CDC

CDC-Funded HIV Testing in the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands: 2020 Annual HIV Testing Report – This report describes the demographics of persons tested, persons with newly diagnosed HIV infection, and persons linked to HIV medical care in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands in 2020. According to the report, a total of about 1.34 million CDC-funded HIV tests were conducted during that year.

The Role of HIV Self-Testing in Ending the HIV Epidemic (CDC, 2022) – This issue brief considers the role that HIV self-testing may play in U.S. efforts to end the HIV epidemic. It discusses the benefits of HIV self-testing; CDC’s efforts to make HIV self-testing simple, accessible, and routine; the two types of self-tests (rapid and mail-in); steps HIV stakeholders can take to advance HIV self-testing; and examples of local HIV self-testing programs.

HIV Guidelines: HIV Testing (CDC) – This web page has links to many resources, including guidelines for HIV testing in clinical and nonclinical settings, HIV laboratory testing and reporting of test results, and HIV testing of organ donors.

HIV Self Testing (CDC) – This fact sheet provides basic information about rapid and mail-in self-tests for HIV, as well as a search feature to find free or low-cost HIV self-tests.

Screening in Clinical Settings (CDC) – This web page provides information and resources for providers and the public on HIV testing in clinical settings.

HIV Testing in Nonclinical Settings (CDC) – This web page provides information and resources for providers and the public on HIV testing in nonclinical settings.

Selected Resources from AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) and HRSA

HIV Care Continuum: Key Resources for HIV Clinicians (AETC National Coordinating Resource Center and National Clinician Consultation Center, December 2022) – This is a compilation of key resources for each stage of the HIV care continuum, including HIV testing and diagnosis, linkage to care, retention in care, and antiretroviral therapy and viral suppression.

HIV Testing (New England AETC, April 2022) – This training video is designed to help clinicians and community health workers understand the importance of HIV testing in Ending the HIV Epidemic. It includes information about risk factors and assessments.

HIV Screening and Linkage (South Central AETC, April 2022) – These training slides identify why routine HIV screening is a best practice, review how to correctly interpret HIV screening and monitoring tests, and explain status neutral linkage to care.

Latinx HIV Case Finding and Prevention Pocket Guide (MidAtlantic AETC, March 2022) – This pocket guide provides information about interventions to decrease barriers to the engagement of the Latinx population in HIV testing; HIV-related messaging; and taking a sexual health history.

Connect to Cure – A Care Innovation Project (New England AETC, October 2021) – This seminar describes a multidisciplinary team’s experience providing innovative care for people at risk of drug and sex-related harms.

Leveraging mHealth, Telehealth, and At-Home Testing in Rural Areas: Implications for the HIV Care Continuum (South Central AETC and others, September 2021) – These training slides cover health inequities related to accessing culturally competent medical care, and discuss the role of rurality and cultural norms on primary, secondary, and tertiary HIV prevention interventions.

Providing Innovative and Flexible HIV Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic (HRSA CAREAction Newsletter, August 2021) – This issue includes information about expanding telehealth and virtual meeting capabilities during the pandemic, encouraging the use of home-based and self-testing for HIV, offering other critical services to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients, as well as brief case studies of RWHAP-funded agencies’ efforts to provide innovative and flexible care during the pandemic.

National HIV Testing Day Webcast – My Test, My Way: Lessons Learned and Innovations in HIV Testing (New England AETC and others, July 2021) – In this webinar, an expert panel discusses lessons learned and innovations made in HIV testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women: HIV Case Finding and Prevention Pocket Guide (MidAtlantic AETC, October 2020) – This resource provides information about HIV testing and prevention for women. It covers clinical considerations, taking a sexual health history, and discussing risks and harm reduction with women.

People with Substance Use Disorder: HIV Case Finding and Prevention Pocket Guide (MidAtlantic AETC, October 2020) – This resource provides information about HIV testing and risk assessment for patients with a history of substance use. It covers clinical considerations, assessing drug and alcohol risk, and discussing risks and harm reduction with patients with substance use disorder.

Guide to Legal and Policy Issues: HIV Screening in Routine Healthcare (MidAtlantic AETC, October 2020) – This resource provides information about the basic requirements for HIV testing, with an emphasis on legal and policy issues in the MidAtlantic states and District of Columbia.

Adolescents: HIV Case Finding and Prevention Pocket Guide (MidAtlantic AETC, October 2020) – This resource provides information about HIV testing and prevention for adolescents, including important clinical considerations, taking a sexual health history, assessing psychosocial health and wellbeing, and discussing risks and harm reduction with young patients.


Selected Recent Reports from CDC’s MMWR Focusing on HIV Testing

Each of these reports includes some discussion of HIV testing in the United States.

HIV Services and Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, 2019-2021

HIV Testing Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, 2019-2020

Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men – United States, 2010-2019

HIV Infection and HIV-Associated Behaviors Among Persons Who Inject Drugs – 23 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, United States, 2018

Increasing Access to HIV Testing Through Direct-to-Consumer HIV Self-Test Distribution – United States, March 31, 2020-March 30, 2021

HIV Testing Trends Among Persons with Commercial Insurance or Medicaid – United States, 2014-2019

Trends in Diagnosis of HIV Infection, Linkage to Medical Care, and Viral Suppression Among Men Who Have Sex with Men, by Race/Ethnicity and Age – 33 Jurisdictions, United States, 2014-2018

Sex Differences in HIV Testing – 20 PEPFAR-Supported Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2019

HIV Testing Trends at Visits to Physician Offices, Community Health Centers, and Emergency Departments – United States, 2009-2017

HIV Testing Outcomes Among Blacks or African Americans – 50 Local U.S. Jurisdictions Accounting for the Majority of New HIV Diagnoses and Seven States with Disproportionate Occurrences of HIV in Rural Areas, 2017

Trends in HIV-2 Diagnoses and Use of the HIV-1/HIV-2 Differentiation Test – United States, 2010-2017

Vital Signs: Status of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing, Viral Suppression, and HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis – United States, 2013–2018


The contents listed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.